What is a Sexual Wellness Routine?
Your sexual wellness routine adds action to the notion that sexuality and pleasure are important parts of your health–and not just physically. This regimen, no matter how you customize it, takes into account how sex impacts your mental, emotional, and spiritual states of being. You can think of your sexual wellness routine as an extention of your self-care, that forces you to go a bit deeper than just your skincare.
The digital sexual health and wellness platform, KIMBRITIVE, notes, “In a culture where sexual wellness is almost an afterthought, your sexual wellness regimen is your personalized guide for taking your self-care game to the next level! Just like your skincare or hair care regimen, your sexual wellness regimen helps you to explore different ways to care for your incredible body, deepen your self-love practice, and prioritize your sexual wellness.”
Why is It Important?
Everyone has genitals. Everyone interacts with sex in some way and on some level–even if you’ve never had sex before! The goal of sexual wellness is to eliminate the stigmas and shame around sex in order to ensure that you can experience optimal health.
If you aren’t sexually active, do you have a positive and affirming attitude about sex and sexuality? What is your relationship with your own body? Are you informed on how your body works, why it operates how it does, and what it looks like for YOUR body and sexual organs to be healthy?
If you are sexually active, are you taking all the necessary steps to make sure you’re sexing safely? Is the sex you’re having nourishing (and not depleting) your mental, emotional, and spiritual health? Do you know what healthy intimacy and partnership looks and feels like?
Are you operating with the knowledge that you deserve pleasure and joy?
Being on top of your sexual wellness (pun fully intended) not only poses these questions, but equips you with the space, support, and information to explore the answers.
With a routine, you can check in with yourself–physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually–on a regular basis to make sure that the ways in which you are interacting with sex are keeping you happy and healthy.
If you’re creating a sexual wellness routine for the first time, or just refreshing a routine that you already have in play, incorporate these must-have elements to get the most out of your regimen:
This one might be obvious, but it needs to be restated as much as possible because there is still so much stigma around STDs and STD testing. The common misconception that STD testing is only necessary when your body signals that something is wrong leaves people vulnerable to contracting diseases without knowing it and possibly passing them on to a partner. Especially because many STDs don’t necessarily show symptoms, you should not wait until there is no other option but to get tested.
STD testing helps you stay in control of your sexual health and aware of what’s going on with your body. And because of disparities such as access to information, access to quality health care, and income, women of color experience STDs at higher rates.
Instead of viewing STD testing as a reactive emergency measure, make it a proactive part of your routine that you participate in as frequently as every three months.
One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to explore my body and my desires through solo sex or masturbation. This is your time to learn all about yourself without the awkwardness or pressure of performing up to someone else’s expectations. As you navigate different parts of your body and learn how to give yourself the most pleasure, you’ll start to feel more comfortable in your vessel and establish more body confidence.
Also, setting aside time specifically to masturbate helps you make it a priority to experience pleasure. As you discover your yeses, nos , and maybes, you can communicate these desires to your partner and show them how to please you too!
And it’s important to note that even when you’re in a relationship or having partnered sex regualrly, you should still carve out time to show yourself some love. We all need moments when we’re the star of the show, so don’t forget about your time in the spotlight.
An Outlet to Communicate Your Thoughts
Sex can be…well, a lot. Because it requires vulnerability, and a lot of times, intimacy, sex can evoke unfamiliar emotions (good and bad), and it can lead you to discover new parts of yourself over time. It can be hard to process feelings that arise as a result of sex, especially if you don’t have someone with whom you feel safe to share with openly and candidly.
When it comes to sexual wellness, communication provides an opportunity for resolution and for growth. If you have a complicated history with sex and your encounters often trigger you, you may want to speak to a therapist or a sex and relationship coach about how you engage.
If you’re not comfortable speaking with someone else yet, try spilling your thoughts into a journal. Not only does this allow you a private space to communicate transparently, but it also allows you to look back on your experiences and track your progress as you tend to your wellness.
Most importantly, if you’re having sex with a partner, you should be able to communicate with them–not just your desires, but what you don’t like, your expectations, and what the ideal sexual encounter looks like for you.
Featured photo: Unsplash
Kymberly Deane is a writer, content creator, and storyteller based in Brooklyn, New York. Her passion for continual self-improvement and exploring new things has led her to become a health and wellness zealot, with a particular love for sexual health and wellness. She uses her writing to share the gems she discovers throughout her journey.